I’ve been around and, believe it or not, I’ve been cooking some, but I haven’t had time to sit down and blog. I have been taking pictures and thinking of you guys, though!
1) I made a huge Italian dinner for 9 people – my mother’s sauce recipe from scratch. Blog post on that coming 🙂
2) My husband bought groceries before leaving town and after he left, I discovered a box of veggies titled “Mix Soup” (as in Soup Mix). I wasn’t sure why he bought it since we don’t make or eat soup much – perhaps just to give me veggies to cook. But I took it as a challenge and made healthy veggie soup from scratch.
“Soup Mix” – zucchini, carrots, cilantro, dill
Sodium-free bouillon (Broth has such high sodium! Salt it yourself, dudes.)
1 tbsp wheat flour
1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Dice garlic. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add garlic, onion powder and cumin. When garlic softens, add vegetables and saute until brown. Boil 2 cups of water and add 2 packets of sodium-free bouillon (or heat 2 cups of broth). When it boils, add veggies and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 10-12 minutes, adding flour or cornstarch halfway through to thicken.
3) I also made Tofu and Potato Hash Browns tonight – delicious! I am a big fan of Nava Atlas, as you should be if you enjoy really good vegetarian and vegan food that’s easy to make. I added the fresh spinach that she suggests, and you could also add vegan or lowfat cheese if you like. Or pesto!
Well, I’d love to stick around, but I’ve got some eating to do! 😉 More to come soon. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re cooking.
It’s been a while. I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been content to let the Husband do it while I handle dishes. Today, however, I’m going to make my Saag Paneer hack (with tofu instead of cheese), since I have been craving it.
On another note, Pinterest is the most awesome thing ever except for the fact that it makes me hungry. Here’s a roundup of the latest pins I found:
Note: I only pin recipes that look simple and have few ingredients. I can’t deal with a recipe that’s going to require me to go out and buy 10 things.
It’s better to make things from scratch. I wholeheartedly agree with this. However, sometimes you just gotta take the easy way out. And I am being easier on myself in this regard.
I just made a batch of 16 pumpkin muffins. I used a mix from Trader Joe’s containing good ingredients that I can pronounce. I added good ingredients to the mix. And now I have breakfast for God knows how long.
I truly believe in eating real food and getting away from packaged, processed stuff. But cooking at home is hard. With a job, or kids, or whatever particular life you have… it’s HARD. And while cooking and baking from scratch is ideal, sometimes cutting corners is necessary. I’d rather eat a muffin I made at home with a mix than one from a chain bakery or supermarket, because you never really know what’s in those.
So go easy on yourself, and eat up!
After having a great quinoa side dish at Vspot in Brooklyn, I decided I wanted to start making it myself. I bought it from Trader Joe’s and let it sit in the cupboard until I could find a recipe that looked tasty but easy and wouldn’t require me to buy tons of ingredients. Today, I was finally able to make my first quinoa dish – “Quinoa with Latin Flavors” from Fitness Magazine.
I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, but I’m not one to fret over that. (My mother-in-law can make an amazing curry with a jar of pasta sauce if we don’t have tomatoes. It’s called improvising!) I left out the cilantro and green chiles, substituted olive oil for canola, and instead of chicken or vegetable broth, I dissolved a vegetable bouillon cube into boiling water.
This was actually a really easy dish to make. The longest part was letting it simmer for 20 minutes, during which you can walk away and do other things.
Did anyone else catch Julie and Julia on TV yesterday? We were at the gym so I got to catch a bit on the elliptical machine. Love that movie. (It helps to have a nerd crush on Stanley Tucci, who narrated Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, and Meryl Streep is phenomenal.) Loved the book too.
I’ve been going through all of the vegan cookbooks I checked out from the library and finding recipes to try. This one seemed really easy and involved ingredients I already had. In fact, I had a bag of small new potatoes that weren’t going to last much longer anyway, so it was a perfect time to roast them!
Curry-Roasted New Potatoes
*I didn’t make the chutney because we always have chutney in my house (woohoo!).
Do you eat Aloo Chaat? That’s what this tasted like. My husband loves chaat so it was a home run.
I’ve been making stuffed mushrooms with my Mom as a Thanksgiving side dish for ages. She fills them with diced mushroom stems mixed with blue cheese dressing and topped with bread crumbs. Since we are mostly vegan and don’t have blue cheese dressing or anything like it in the house, I improvised an Italian-style stuffed mushroom that came out quite good!
After washing the mushrooms and dicing up the stems, I mixed in sliced basil leaves, Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds, a few spoons of tomato sauce and some Italian seasoning. I then stuffed the mixture into the mushrooms caps, topped with panko breadcrumbs and drizzled with olive oil.
Above is a shot of the mushrooms pre-oven. I cooked them at 400 degrees after Googling a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis for guidance. I paired them with a mixed salad drizzled in olive oil and topped with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and a serving of Trader Joe’s Arugula and Parmesan ravioli (okay, not completely vegan!).
Yum! And pretty simple. What are you cooking up these days?
I don’t know about you folks, but for us here in the northeast U.S.A., summer has ARRIVED. It’s hard to cook in this heat. I’m loathe to put the oven on. It’s been a lot of salads and sandwiches for us lately. So it’s going to take some creativity to maintain my homemaking reputation through the summer. It occurred to me today that my interesting iced tea concoctions should count in this department. So here they are:
Here’s what I’ve been making lately:
- Masala iced tea (shown). Even better with soymilk and sugar. Kind of tastes like Thai iced tea that you get in Thai restaurants – it’s iced tea with a kick. I make it with masala tea bags from our local Indian store, but you can make your own too.
- Iced green tea with honey.
- Iced passion tea with organic sugar.
- Iced (Lipton) tea with a fresh lemon slice.
Here are some recipes I’d like to try:
What are you chilling out with these days?
My Mom gave us a George Foreman Grill for Christmas last year. We haven’t used it much since then, but I broke it out to grill some tofu the other night with excellent results. Now I feel stupid that I’ve gone so long letting this little treasure sit above my kitchen cabinets.
I used one package of tofu to make two different dishes, since I like to cook in bulk so we have leftovers. For our main meal, I made the curried couscous dish we are both so fond of and paired it with Tofu Tikka Masala. I used the simple grilling directions from Shift Vegan, but marinated the tofu in Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala sauce for 30 minutes before grilling. I had to add a bit of sauce after grilling to keep it wet and flavorful, but the results were really excellent.
Since I had the grill out, I decided to grill the rest of the tofu package to use for salads or sandwiches later. This time I simply marinated in olive oil and seasoning that you use to marinate chicken before grilling. Voila! Yummy yummy and keeps well in the fridge.
Thank you for the grill, Mommy… and Happy Mother’s Day!
It’s been a while, but I’m back now with some more obvious advice for those who avoid the kitchen as much as I do. I recently picked up a bag of frozen vegetable dumplings from a market on our street. (You can choose chicken or pork if you’re not vegetarian.) They’re simply delicious – low in calories (steam, don’t fry them), but a filling snack or rice replacement to accompany a stir-fry if you’re trying to keep the carbs down. They’re done in only 10 minutes. Save those left-over soy sauce packets whenever you order Chinese food, and you’re set.
*Photo courtesty of That’s vegan?!
I’m back! You missed me, didn’t you?
I may have a new favorite meal. Any of you out there fans of Italian-style sausage and peppers? If you live in New York, you can get this at any greasy outdoor fair. I’ve never been big on it but my husband likes it and I made it for him once or twice over the years.
Problem #1: It’s way unhealthy.
Problem #2: We’re now vegetarian.
Solution: Trader Joe’s dee-li-cious Italian sausage-less sausage. The hub and I just love it. It goes great in a tofu scramble and in a pasta sauce. I swear it tastes like sausage.
2.5 links Trader Joe’s Italian sausage-less sausage (or however much you want), cut into chunks
1/2 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 servings whole wheat pasta
Hot sauce, to taste
Cheese for garnish, if desired
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
While the pasta is cooking, saute onions, peppers and sausage in a few tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Cover as it cooks, removing the lid to stir frequently. The sausage should be browned on both sides and onions and peppers cooked through.
Add tomato sauce (and hot sauce, if desired) and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes.
Pour the sausage sauce mixture over the pasta. Garnish with shredded parmigiano or reggiano cheese.
And even though I’ve never been a huge sausage and peppers fan, I’m in love with this dish. It was so yummy.